This week Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, introduced the iPad, the company's newest product. "Its got a 9.7-inch touch screen. Its got a big virtual keyboard. The iPad connects to iTunes. iTunes will now have a bookstore, and the iPad is a lovely color eReader." says NPR's Laura Sydell. Despite the hour and a half unveiling, it has been received with little excitement by analysts. In Sydell's interview, Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey says the consensus is that "iPad had the opportunity to create a completely new consumer device category" but failed to do so.
I had heard rumors of a tablet computer from Mac months ago and was excited to hear Sydell's report. However, I share McQuivey and other analyst's disappointment. The iPad won't actually be out on the market for two more months, but it will be priced at $499 to $829. Additionally, if you want to connect it to the 3G network it will run you another $30. From Sydell's description, the iPad sounds alot like my iPhone, minus the phone and camera. McQuivey makes a similar analysis comparing it to the iPod touch.
If I'm carrying around something several times the size of my phone, I'd like it to do all of the things my phone does. The eReader on the iPad is supposed to be a step up from the iPhone eReader app where a chief complaint is that "the page turning lags" writes Nora Roberts of DearAuthor.com. Even though the iPad has a color eReader on a larger screen, iPad's most interesting feature, this doesn't excite me. Call me old fashioned, but I love my local library. I have thousands of books to choose from, a lovely librarian to help me navigate the stacks, and borrowing a book won't cost me $499 retail.
For the cost, right now my iPhone does all I need: email, text, phone, camera, music player, and countless apps. I am a Mac for life, but hope that, as with the iPhone, time will give it a chance for more innovation and a smaller price tag.
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